NFL Linebacker shares in Olivet chapel service

Former Chicago Bears player, Sam Acho, encourages students to wait on God’s calling

Lauren Beatty

March 30, 2019 Spiritual Life

In a recent chapel service at Olivet Nazarene University, NFL linebacker, Sam Acho spoke to students, faculty and staff about what it means to be called and the importance of being a servant in the midst of adversity. As one of the top universities in Christian higher education, Olivet continues to provide an education with a Christian purpose to all students, in every area of study.


Every Wednesday and Thursday, Olivet hosts influential leaders from around the world to speak in chapel services with the intent to stimulate conversations, spark innovative thinking and expand the world views of students, faculty and staff.

Acho, who was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2015, but recently released, is a free-agent player. While his football career is uncertain, he confidently spoke to Olivet’s campus about choosing to serve God regardless of current circumstances.

Throughout his message, Acho interwove past experiences of waiting on God’s calling, with passages of scripture and reflections on his present circumstance of career changes.

“When I try and take control of things for myself, it doesn’t work. But, when I give it to God, it works,” Acho said while explaining why he chose to volunteer and pray while waiting for a football to materialize, instead of trying to figure out the details on his own.

Acho challenged students and staff with Jeremiah 29:12-13, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (NIV).

“God will do above and beyond what you could ever ask or imagine, think or dream. But it takes a few things: it takes serving, it takes prayer,” he encouraged. Acho further emphasized the point by referencing the phrase widely attributed to St. Augustine, “Work as though things depend on you and pray as though they depend on God.”

Widely recognized for his philanthropic activities, Acho frequently travels to Nigeria to contribute to medical missions work with Living Hope Christian Ministries. He also hosts an annual event called “Hope for Life Celebrity Auction and Fashion Show,” where all proceeds are used to build hospitals in Nigeria. For two consecutive years, the Chicago Bears nominated Acho for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his commitment to community service in the United States and abroad.

Acho’s speaking engagement at Olivet was possible through a partnership with Sodexo USA.

For more information on Olivet’s chapel services, or to watch an on-demand stream click here.

Lauren Beatty

Lauren Beatty ’13 is a freelance writer, author, editor, artist and an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication at Olivet. She earned a Master of Arts degree in cross-cultural and sustainable business management from the American University of Paris in 2014. Her thesis explored the evolution of socially responsible business practices in America.

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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